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The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

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Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

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Lockdown Skeptics >>

Voltaire Network
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Voltaire Network >>

Search words: education

Let’s see them fight for what they say they want: One that nearly got by.

category national | eu | press release author Friday May 07, 2004 04:23author by dapse Report this post to the editors

We’re calling again on Mary Harney to publish the Irish proposals going to the 133 Committee

(DAPSE (Democracy and Public Services in Europe) is a citizens group which is lobbying for greater public scrutiny of the formulation of EU policy on trade in services, particularly in the context of the draft EU Constitution. DAPSE emerged out of last year's Irish Social Forum - a gathering of civil society groups from the island of Ireland.)

There will be lots of celebrations this weekend as the EU is enlarged to include 9 new states. While we welcome access to the EU for any state that wants to get in, the razzmatazz surrounding enlargement is acting as a cover for regressive changes being slipped through in the new EU Constitution. This new Constitution is not needed for enlargement, and will be bad for ordinary people throughout the EU.



"The new EU Constitution would make it easier for vital public services – like health and education – to be turned into commercial operations", said Brendan Young. "The European Commission has been pushing for parts of health and education services to be opened to international trade in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). So far they have not had much success because of the veto that Member States have on trade in these services.



The new Constitution would remove this veto, making it more likely that big parts of these services would be turned into business operations. At a time when more support will be needed in the poorer parts of the enlarged EU, the new Constitution would bring further reductions in the role of the state and a greater role for commercial operators – who provide services to make a profit. This will be bad for ordinary people in the older and newer countries of the EU, because service charges or restricted access are the likely outcomes."



We’re calling on the Irish government to make as much of a fuss about keeping the veto on trade in health and education services as they have made on keeping the veto on taxation. Let’s see them fight for what they say they want.



Whatever happens with the draft Constitution, the EU’s negotiations for the GATS continue to be carried out in secret by the Article 133 Committee and the ‘Commission. We don’t get to know what our own government is offering for trade until after the deals are done. We’re calling again on Mary Harney to publish the Irish proposals going to the 133 Committee".



Quote ends.



Further comment and information: 085 713 1903



DAPSE (Democracy and Public Services in Europe) is a citizens group which is lobbying for greater public scrutiny of the formulation of EU policy on trade in services, particularly in the context of the draft EU Constitution. DAPSE emerged out of last year's Irish Social Forum - a gathering of civil society groups from the island of Ireland.



On February 20 this year DAPSE led a call by a cross party group of 22 TDs demanding an end to secrecy in the EU's Article 133 Committee, the body involved in formulating the EU's policy at the controversial GATS negotiations at the WTO. These negotiations aim to bring about the progressive "liberalisation" of the service sector. Many fear that this GATS process may lead to the enforced liberalisation of vital public services such as Health and education and to their increased commercialisation. The Article 133 Committee meets in secret.



DAPSE is not affiliated to any political party.



Democracy and Public Services in Europe (DAPSE)
c/o IPSC, p/o Box 9124, Dublin 1 Email:dapse@eircom.net

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